MERIT BADGE PROPOSAL
Purpose of a Merit Badge
A merit badge provides a Scout with additional opportunities for learning, personal growth, physical development,
career awareness, citizenship, and life skills development.
Upon receipt of the Merit Badge Proposal application, a task force of volunteers will review the proposal and determine
whether it should move forward. This task force is also charged with considering the proposal’s possible ties to
Scouting’s mission or history. The BSA may conduct a youth interest survey or form a focus group for feedback on
Along with the proposal and any information gathered, the task force submits a recommendation to the BSA’s Pilots
and Program Development Committee for consideration. This committee, which encompasses volunteers from
around the country, conducts three reviews annually. Any approved proposals then move into the development phase.
The Pilots and Program Development Committee is charged with reviewing merit badge
proposals within 120 days of receipt. During that time, this group determines whether the
proposal will be adopted, deferred, recommended to be combined with another merit badge,
or denied. Merit badges recommended for combination with an existing merit badge will be
referred to the appropriate program task force.
Merit Badge Proposal Considerations
When submitting a proposal for a new merit badge, please know that it will be reviewed based on the
• How well the proposed topic fits with Scouting (values, Scout Oath, Scout Law, Guide to Safe
• The practicality of the proposed merit badge (resources to recruit merit badge counselors, uniqueness,
existence of standardized “rules” and administrative organization, safety and risk considerations, etc.)
• How fun and engaging the subject is for Scout-age youth (depth and breadth of appeal, age appropriateness)
• Resource requirements (cost to Scouts/units, camp implications, etc.)
• Uniqueness (whether this is merit badge different from current merit badges or whether it could enhance an
existing merit badge)